It may be more difficult than you think to come up with a business name. If you choose a name that is too similar to that of another firm, you risk trademark infringement. Trademarks aren’t simply for the name of a company. Trademark infringement occurs when a company uses another company’s name, logo, or domain name without permission or uses a similar one, enough to cause customer confusion.
In a trademark infringement lawsuit, the court will generally look for similarities between the two trademarks. They’ll also look at which company was the first to register a trademark and if the two firms provide similar goods or services. Even if your company isn’t directly competing with the other, the original trademark owner might argue that the goods or services remain connected in the minds of consumers. If this happens, you may face charges with trademark infringement.
Steps to Prevent Inadvertent Trademark Infringement
To avoid a trademark infringement lawsuit, small company owners can take the following five steps.
Do your Homework
Check to see whether your chosen name, logo, or domain name has already been trademarked. Look for the precise name you wish to use, as well as close ones.
While you may believe you’re safe if there isn’t an identical match, this isn’t always the case. Consider engaging a trademark attorney before going any further. Other databases, such as state trademark registers and common law marks, are available to them. Paying an expert to search is also likely to be less expensive than defending a violation that might result in a name change. You may also hire a reputable trademark search firm to do the job for you.
Take into account general liability insurance
General liability insurance can help pay for legal costs if you face risks for trademark infringement, including
- Attorney fees.
- Expert witness testimony
- Fees of the court.
- If you lose the case, settlements, or judgments.
Make a trademark registration
You should consider safeguarding your own intellectual property as well as avoiding infringing on another company’s trademark. Take measures to protect your distinctive and memorable logo, name, or domain name by trademarking it.
Keep a record of your results
In the event of a disagreement, timestamps and documentation help to back up your claim. If you can offer documentation proving when you registered your trademark, it may be helpful if a fresher firm sues you. It can also come in helpful if you need to sue another company for trademark infringement. You may save time, money, and the trouble of renaming your company by investing some time and money upfront to search for potential trademark disputes.
As an entrepreneur or a start-up owner, you’ll spend the first few years of your business developing a brand and finding your footing in the market. To build your brand, you work hard and brainstorm numerous ideas and titles for your company logo. In order to avoid trademark infringement, you’ll need a fundamental grasp of trademark law, as well as a thorough investigation and smart judgment. Because one invests so much time and effort in building a brand, it’s critical to do all necessary to protect it. All of your legal compliance problems can resolve by following a few simple principles and getting good legal advice.
To make an inquiry, visit TMReady (Formerly – The Trademark Search Company).